Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Elon Musk, the owner of X, in Silicon Valley on Monday. The meeting will focus on discussions surrounding artificial intelligence technology. Netanyahu’s visit to California was already scheduled before his trip to the UN General Assembly in New York. While in Silicon Valley, Netanyahu aims to strengthen relations with high-tech executives, which play a vital role in Israel’s economy. It is unclear if Netanyahu will also meet with President Biden, who has expressed concerns about judicial reforms implemented by Netanyahu’s government.
X, formerly known as Twitter, has seen a significant increase in hate speech since Musk acquired the platform and relaxed content moderation safeguards. Musk revealed that US ad revenue has declined by 60% recently. The meeting between Netanyahu and Musk is part of an effort by Musk’s Jewish friends and allies to address the mounting criticism surrounding the surge in anti-Semitic speech on X.
The White House and Musk declined to comment on the meeting. Civil rights groups, such as the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League, have reported a rise in hate speech on X under Musk’s leadership. The ADL noted an increase in anti-Semitic content and a decrease in the moderation of such posts since Musk took over. Musk has attributed the ad revenue decline to pressure from the ADL, dubbing it the “Defamation League” in his statement on X.
In a conversation on X, Musk joined the hashtag #BantheADL, which was embraced by white nationalists and anti-Semites. He even had exchanges with users who expressed anti-Semitic beliefs during the discussion. X’s new content moderation policy has made it difficult to convince brands that the platform is safe for advertising. Concerns about Netanyahu’s judicial reforms and Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements have deterred foreign investment in Israeli tech startups, leading to a decline in foreign flows and weakening of the shekel against the dollar.
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